Francis Collins Discussed Genomic Revolution, Received Inaugural Inamori Ethics Prize

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Famed physician-geneticist and acclaimed Language of God author Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., enlightened the Cleveland community yesterday on the rapid advances in genetic mapping and understanding and the ethical issues surrounding the advancement of the science during his lecture, "Promise and Perils of the Genomic Revolution."

Collins' lecture—and subsequent symposium with Case Western Reserve University faculty—kicked off a daylong series of programs for the inaugural Inamori Ethics Prize, culminating in a gala celebration in Severance Hall. Modeled after the Nobel and Kyoto Prizes for science, technology, philosophy and the arts, the Inamori prize honors outstanding international ethical leaders.

Collins discussed his nearly 20 years of work with the multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional Human Genome Project, an international effort to map and sequence the three billion letters in the human DNA. With its ultimate goal of improving human health, many consider the Human Genome Project to be one of the most significant scientific undertakings of our time.

He and the group of panelists explored ethical questions surrounding the project, including genetic information access and genetic manipulation and enhancement, during an audience-driven question-and-answer session following the lecture.

In the evening, Collins was presented the one-of-a-kind Inamori Ethics Prize medal by Case Western Reserve President Barbara R. Snyder, outgoing Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence Director Gregory Eastwood and director-designate Shannon French.

Case Western Reserve Engineering Professor Receives Prestigious Public Service Award from NASA

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J. Iwan D. Alexander, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Case Western Reserve University and director of the National Center for Space Exploration and Research, has been awarded the Exceptional Public Service Medal by the NASA Glenn Research Center.

"I'm thrilled, yet humbled to have received this great honor from NASA," said Alexander. "While it is surely a tribute to my work, it is also an award I proudly share with my colleagues at the Case School of Engineering and the university."

Alexander was recognized for his exceptional contributions to microgravity research and space exploration in multiple roles, including director of the National Center for Space Exploration and Research (NCSER), which is based at Case Western Reserve, chief scientist and research scientist. Read more.

Campus News

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Journalist Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, author of the critically acclaimed book Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx, will discuss her writings as the featured speaker for the fourth annual Anisfield-Wolf Lecture. The free, public event will take place at 12:30 p.m., Friday, September 12, in Severance Hall. Read more.

Identity fraud affects millions of new victims each year. Join fellow alumni and Liberty Mutual experts for lunch and a free seminar on reducing the risks of becoming an identity fraud victim from noon to 1 p.m., Wednesday, September 10, at the Alumni House. Lunch will be provided by the Office of Alumni Relations. To register, contact Emily Cole at 368-3085.

For Faculty and Staff

The 2008 Benefits Fair is scheduled for November 4 and 5. Employees should plan to attend so they can learn more about the university's benefit programs and to ask questions in preparation for the Benelect Open Enrollment. Additional information is forthcoming in Case Daily.

For Students

The Biomedical Graduate Student Organization (BGSO) is holding its first meeting of the year for all School of Medicine graduate students at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, September 9 at the Biomedical Research Building, Room 732. The BGSO is a new organization created to represent and address the needs of the university's biomedical graduate students. The group seeks to unite biomedical graduate students pursuing advanced degrees.

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Students are invited to attend the Center for Civic Engagement & Learning's Community Service Fair from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday, September 11 in Thwing Center's ballroom. More than 30 nonprofit organizations, service-oriented student organizations and campus programs will be present to share opportunities and ways to make a difference in the community. Students also can register to vote at the fair.

Phi Sigma Rho is hosting its annual Hillbilly Cornhole Tournament from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, September 6 at Freiberger Field. There will be competitive and non-competitive brackets, prizes and food. Register up until 11:30 a.m. the morning of the event. Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society. Contact Katie Rabovsky.

Events

The Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences is co-sponsoring a brown bag lunch featuring artist Margaret Denk-Leigh at 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, September 10 on the second floor atrium of the Mandel School. Her exhibit, 45 Works on Paper: Print Exhibition, is on display through October 6. For information, contact June Hund or Kristen Kirchgesler at 368-2302.

The views and opinions of those invited to speak on campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.

Et al

A five-member team from Case Western Reserve won the Second Annual Entrepreneurship Immersion Program competition, taking home a $4,000 prize. This year's team included four Weatherhead School of Management students, Magda Marcel, Michael Benning, Sean Detwiler and Aaron Myhre, as well as one Case School of Engineering student, Michael Petro. They created the Coupon Deposit, a business that would allow consumers to consolidate coupons onto a plastic card after downloading selections online. Read more.

Jon C. Cline, high performance computing cluster administrator, was a presenter at the recent 2008 Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration conference. His presentation, "Application of a Multi-Modeling Framework to Linking Ecosystem Pattern and Process Across Scales: Implementation of a Decision Support Tool for Adaptive Ecosystem Management in the Everglades Mangrove Zone," was part of the ATLSS (Across Trophic Level System Simulation) Ecological Modeling. Cline has used these modeling frameworks to support Everglades restoration in a collaboration with Joseph Koonce, professor of biology at Case Western Reserve, and Benjamin Hobbs from Johns Hopkins University.

September 5, 2008

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Case in the News

That Place on Bellflower reopening with new name

The Plain Dealer, September 5, 2008
A longtime landmark restaurant in the University Circle area is set for transformation. The former That Place on Bellflower will soon reopen as a moderately priced neo-brasserie with a new name. Case Western Reserve University owns the property. Lara Kalafatis, vice president of university relations, comments on the new owner and restaurant concept.

At 50, AARP enters its golden years

Washington Post, September 4, 2008
Fifty years after its founding by a retired high school principal, AARP is a premier lobbying power in Washington with 40 million members. Robert Binstock, a professor of age, health and society at Case Western Reserve University, comments.

A locally produced documentary about Tibet under Chinese rule questions some basic assumption

Pittsburgh City Paper, September 4, 2008
Pittsburgh filmmaker Carl Cimini has produced a documentary, Dancing in Amdo, about Tibet under Chinese rule. The documentary includes an interview with the Dalai Lama, and commentary from Melvyn Goldstein, co-director of the Center for Research on Tibet at Case Western Reserve University.

Human genome project five years later yielding medical breakthroughs

WKSU, September 4, 2008
The former director of the human genome project says in the last two years, there's been a revolution in the medical applications of genetic research. Francis Collins was in Cleveland yesterday to accept the first Inamori Ethics Prize from Case Western Reserve University. He says one of those breakthroughs will be published today—a new cancer genome atlas.

Success of Case Western Reserve football team restores lost pride

The Plain Dealer, September 5, 2008
The Case Western Reserve Spartans football team enters Saturday's 1 p.m. opener at Kenyon College ranked anywhere from No. 10 to No. 19. School officials believe the most recent time it happened was in the mid-1980s. Coach Greg Debeljak and several players comment.

Higher Ed News

Less affordable colleges may get 'F,' land on Wall of Shame

USA TODAY, September 4, 2008
The College Opportunity and Affordability Act will require the Department of Education to post online the colleges and universities with the highest percentage increases in tuition and fees in a three-year period. It also calls for the department to list the 5 percent of colleges with the highest overall sticker prices.

Liberal arts tweaked for careers

USA TODAY, September 2, 2008
Liberal arts colleges make a passionate case that the skills they offer—analysis, writing, argument—are the best preparation for a career in the ever-changing business world. But at a time of surging college costs and rising career anxieties, they're feeling some heat from parents and students to do more to give students a well-rounded resume.